Words: Will Stroude
Pete Buttigieg, the first ever openly gay Democratic candidate to run for President of the United States, has surged to third place in the latest Iowa poll, behind Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is an outsider in the race to win the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election, but new polling figures indicate he's made huge in-roads since announcing his candidacy in January.
With 10 months to until the Iowa caucus - the first in a series of state-wide votes to decide to who'll run against President Donald Trump come November 2020 - a poll for Emerson Polling placed Buttigieg (pronnounced 'BOOT-edge-edge') third out of 14 candiates with 11% of the vote, behind frontunners Joe Biden (25%) and Bernie Sanders (24%).
The figures put Buttigieg, who was elected mayor of South Bend in 2011 aged just 29, ahead of heavyweight candidates like California Senator Kamala Harris (10%), Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (9%) and rising Democratic star Beto O'Rourke (5%).
Among 18-29-year-olds, he polled 22%, behind only Bernie Sanders (44%).
While Mr. Buttigieg remains a longshot for the Democratic nomination, the speed of his rise - and in a Midwestern heartland, at that - remains impressive: polling in Iowa in January shortly after he announced his candidacy put him at 0%.
Pete Buttigieg (right) wed his husband Chasten Glezman in June 2018
A veteran of the war in Afghanistan, the Indiana-born politician came out publicly as gay in 2015, ten days before the Supreme Court's historic ruling on marriage equality, writing that "at a moment like this, being more open about it could do some good."
He began dating his husband, teacher Chasten Glezman, just two months later. The pair announced their engagement in 2017 before marrying in South Bend in June 2018.
At 37, Mr Buttigieg - who is running under the slogan "It's time for a new generation of American leadership" - would become the youngest President of the United States, as well as the first openly gay Oval Office resident.
Looks like it might be time to make America gay again...